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North and South


Published September 22, 2007


Librivox recording of North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell.

Set in Victorian England, North and South is the story of Margaret Hale, a young woman whose life is turned upside down when her family relocates to northern England. As an outsider from the agricultural south, Margaret is initially shocked by the aggressive northerners of the dirty, smoky industrial town of Milton. But as she adapts to her new home, she defies social conventions with her ready sympathy and defense of the working poor. Her passionate advocacy leads her to repeatedly clash with charismatic mill owner John Thornton over his treatment of his workers. While Margaret denies her growing attraction to him, Thornton agonizes over his foolish passion for her, in spite of their heated disagreements. As tensions mount between them, a violent unionization strike explodes in Milton, leaving everyone to deal with the aftermath in the town and in their personal lives.

Elizabeth Gaskell serialized North and South between September 1854 and January 1855 in Charles Dickens’s magazine Household Words. Upon its publication, Gaskell established herself as a novelist capable of serious discourse on social responsibility and advocacy for change in defiance of established authority.
(Summary by Dani)

For further information, including links to online text, reader information, RSS feeds, CD cover or other formats (if available), please go to the LibriVox catalog page for this recording.

For more free audiobooks, or to become a volunteer reader, please visit librivox.org.

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Download M4B Part 3 (166MB)


Source Librivox recording of a public-domain text
Run time 18:39:26

Reviews

Reviewer: dahszil - - September 27, 2014
Subject: I like the readers, If the rest of you don't.....
then go buy the recording. I am disabled and so thankful to librivox and internet archive because i have only enough money for food, shelter, and internet on an old computer.

This female collaborative was superb. This male is grateful for your fine work readers.

QUITE FRANKLY YOU "REVIEWERS" WHO COMPLAIN ABOUT SUCH TRIVIAL AND PETTY THINGS as quality of recording or readers which do not live up to your high and lofty standards(who volunteer their time for free), I find disgraceful.

Reviewers who have at least some dignity and intelligence restrict their reviews to the content,style,which characters they like or dislike,critique of author,and so on, of the book,play, poetry etc.

btw, I am a male, I am not a librivox reader, have no vested interest in librivox or IA, I am not staff, et al. But I am eternally grateful for this wonderful free service they provide. Due to my condition and physical suffering in reading a book, these free audiobooks and other non text media, are a godsend.

a bit on the book: it is so extremely sad and emotional so far, it is hard to listen to more than a few chapters at a hearing. i hope the ending has some peace and justice. Mr. Thornton is not unlike hypocritical, survival of the fittest type of capitalists today(not all capitalists today are like this but they are sadly in the minority. In the late 19th century there were more socially conscious industrialists and capitalists then today. For example Sir George White in the UK who after many business successes started an airplane company late in his life at Filton. Sadly the great Filton airfield(in Briston metro area) is now closed and is taken over by predatory land developers. And Sir White really did come from working class beginnings.) Mr. Thornton never came from the under class as he proclaims. The "horatio alger" myth

dahszil
male
american(end the US empire and restore the republic)
Reviewer: tauntonlake - - April 19, 2013
Subject: Missed out on a third of the book..
A few of the readers read so poorly, stumbling over big words, literally racing through the reading much too fast (LC in Honolulu in particular!) mispronouncing words, and whole chapters read by readers who were mostly unintelligible, heavy accents and poor sound recording, ruined a good third of this book for me. This is not supposed to be an exercise
in remedial reading! However, the readers who were able to read carefully, and thoughtfully, were very much appreciated!!
Reviewer: Brigit Verbraak - - November 29, 2012
Subject: Some unbearable chapters
I loved this audio book but some of the chapters were recorded with poor equipment or done by speakers of whom English is not their native language. This is not to say that every non-native reader on this version was bad, but some read in a monotone voice and skipped words so that I couldn't wait for the next reader to take over.

Perhaps the other version is better.
Reviewer: ListeninginChicago - - July 24, 2009
Subject: Great book, mixed bag of readers
It was Richard Armitage's BBC portrayal of Mr. Thornton that first interested me in North and South. I have been a fan ever since. If you enjoy Jane Austen, I think you will also enjoy this mixture of social commentary and love story. Janine Barchas published a thoughtful analysis of the connection between Austen and Gaskell in an article for the journal of the Jane Austen Sociaty of North America (North and South: Austen’s Early Legacy, by Janine Barchas, Persuasions vol. 30 (2008)). I'm not a lit major, but could appreciate the parallels once they were pointed out to me. Like Austen, Gaskell is an author that you can enjoy on multiple levels. If you're looking for a good story - this is one. If you're looking for deeper social commentary from a woman's perspective, this also suits. So overall, I have the highest praise for the book.

Librivox has two collaborative versions of North and South posted. This is the original, and contains many excellent readings - it's particularly fascinating to listen to the variety of British accents. But several chapters were so poorly done that I couldn't wait for them to finish. All in all, I would choose to listen to the second Librivox version.
Reviewer: Rossendale - - September 29, 2007
Subject: An Agreeable Surprise.
I've just finished listening to this recording and I have to say that although I had my my doubts initially this group collaboration works better than most. The variety of voices is fascinating, the diction throughout is clear and the readings themselves are thoughtfully and intelligently delivered. Inevitably, some readers are better than others - one or two sound to be of professional standard - but all are very listenable and obviously enthusiastic about what they were doing. Thoroughly recommended.
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